Canada and the commemoration of a racist oppressor

Reply Tue 29 Aug, 2017 04:29 pm
He, John A. Macdonald, was also Canada's first Prime Minister and a founder of the nation. Under his ministry, Canada ripped approximately 100,000 indigenous children from their families and forced them into boarding schools--where many were abused physically and sexually--in an effort to assimilate them. In his words, to "acquire the habits and modes of thought of white men," otherwise, an indigenous child schooled where he lives, "is simply a savage who can read and write." He also utilized starvation to coerce indigenous peoples into reserves.

Given his views and actions, efforts have been undertaken in Ontario to strip
his name from the nine schools in that province named after him. Also, there are calls to remove a statue of him from City Park in Kingston. These actions have created an emotionally charged debate in the country much like the polemic in the US about the commemoration of Confederate figures.

NYT article about Canada's brouhaha
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Reply Tue 29 Aug, 2017 04:42 pm
InfraBlue wrote:
These actions have created an emotionally charged debate in the country much like the polemic in the US about the commemoration of Confederate figures.

not so much

I'm originally from Kingston. My mother is buried within sight of Sir John A's grave. I went to one of the Sir John A schoĆ³ls 50+ years ago.

Barely anyone cares about all of this. I've tried talking to neighbours about this - they haven't got a clue that it could be an issue.

Even Murray Sinclair says ...


The former chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission says tearing down tributes that are considered offensive to Indigenous Peoples would be "counterproductive" because it smacks of anger, not harmony.

Sen. Murray Sinclair says the debate over whether to remove Sir John A. Macdonald's name from Ontario schools is time that would be better spent discussing the need to honour and elevate Indigenous heroes.
Reply Tue 29 Aug, 2017 04:56 pm
So, no one really cares if his name is stripped from these schools or not.

In your opinion, will it be done given the apathy?

It's ironic, at the very least, that schools are named after him given his unenlightened history with schools.
Reply Tue 29 Aug, 2017 05:12 pm
No one really wants his name removed from the schools. The complaint wasn't coming from the indigenous community.

I'd be surprised if it happened. The deal with the Langevin block was different.


My bottom line is if he had something to do with Canada not being part of the US, I'm good with his name being used.

I'm not entirely sure why his name was used as he certainly wasn't a highly respected guy locally - when I was a kid I knew old people whose parents actually knew him - it's really not that many generations back - he was thought of as a drunk with really bad personal luck but good political instincts.
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